Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (8th Senate District) announced today that the New York State Senate passed civil commitment legislation to protect residents from sexual predators.
"We cannot allow dangerous sexual predators to roam the streets of our communities if they are likely to commit another heinous crime," said Senator Fuschillo, who cosponsored the legislation. "This legislation will protect the public by keeping sexually violent predators off the streets in a secure treatment facility, where they can continue to undergo rehabilitation."
The civil commitment legislation would allow the state to confine sexually violent predators at a secure treatment facility after they’ve completed their prison sentence. These offenders would continue to receive treatment and would be reevaluated periodically. Offenders could only be released after a psychiatric evaluation and going through a hearing process.
Current New York State law allows sexually violent predators to be released into the community with limited monitoring once their prison sentence expires, regardless of whether or not they have been screened by a professional mental health expert and without the benefit of continued treatment.
In order to protect the public and provide treatment to dangerous offenders, at least sixteen other states and the District of Columbia passed laws authorizing the civil commitment of sexually violent predators at the end of their criminal sentences. These states include: Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, Kansas, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, North Dakota, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.
The United States Supreme Court has repeatedly upheld the involuntary civil commitment of dangerous persons who are unable to control their behaviors and whose mental illnesses render them a grave risk to the health and safety of the public.
The legislation has been sent to the Assembly.
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